And Just How Dumb Are Welsh Politicians?
According to the news this morning, the Welsh assembly is to prohibit vaping in enclosed public spaces in the same way that smoking is banned; a bit of cut&paste on the old law. You might expect a moron in a hurry to look at vaping, and say "It looks like smoking so it must be bad." but you should be able to expect that politicians would make a decision based on the available evidence.
However it appears that Welsh politicians have more in common with a moron in a hurry than an idealised poltician.
Before I carry on, let me explain that despite being a vaper (and ex-smoker), if I were to live in Wales, this ban would make practically no difference to me. I don't vape at work (in the office!), in pubs, shops, on trains, or anywhere you can expect the Welsh ban to take effect. I do sometimes wish there was a vaping lounge I could go to on occasions.
The main reason this is such a stupid ban is that it treats vaping as if it were as harmful to the health as smoking. There is not a single serious person who would claim that vaping is as dangerous as smoking. And treating it the same as smoking tells smokers (remember the moron in a hurry) that there's no point in switching to vaping instead because vaping is just as harmful.
There is an argument that whilst the risks are unknown for sure (there is no evidence that secondary vaping is harmful; and plenty of studies that show that secondary vaping is harmless , , ), that it would be nice to stop vaping in public enclosed spaces; just not on the same level as smoking. For example :-
- Allow pubs to decide whether they allow vaping or not. And to encourage a bit of trendy localism: Why not allow the pub regulars to vote on whether vaping should be allowed or not?
- Ban vaping in restarants (some of the strange flavours could easily put people off their food) but allow vaping in a lobby area or other ventilated but isolated space.
- Allow other work-places to set up isolated "vaping lounges".
The intention is to minimise a probably non-existent risk to non-vapers whilst letting vapers get away with just a bit more than smokers.
Amusingly enough, by consigning vapers to the same sin bin as the smokers, these dumb politicians open themselves up to a class action suit in the future – why should I have to endure the risk of secondary smoking?
There are two daft arguments that I heard used this morning which indicate that some of the Welsh politicians realise just how dumb they're being :-
- Allowing vaping in enclosed public spaces normalises smoking. It doesn't normalise smoking unless you're a moron in a hurry – it's quite easy to tell the difference between vapour and smoke. The smell of vapour is far nicer! It "normalises" vaping as a better choice than smoking.
- It acts as a gateway to smoking. No; it's a gateway out of smoking.
Even if you were to disagree with my assessments of these two arguments, the fact they are being made at all indicates just how poor the argument for banning vaping in public really is.